Awaken Your Soul on a Hokkaido Wellness Vacation

Discover the fresh spring water from the mountains, the natural outdoor hot springs, and beautiful attractions when you visit this dream wellness destination - Hokkaido.
Awaken Your Soul on a Hokkaido Wellness Vacation

Hokkaido is the second-largest and northernmost of Japan's four main islands. Although it is the least developed prefecture in Japan, it is a world-class wellness destination. This is because the area is home to volcanoes, natural hot springs (known as onsen), and incredible ski areas. Due to its location in the north, Hokkaido has extreme winter weather and lots of snow but is much more temperate in the summer months. 

Hokkaido has pristine national parks with unspoiled nature and stunning rural landscapes, all of which attract visitors year-round. There is plenty for you to do and see in this unique region. So, if you're looking for a dream wellness destination, make sure to book your flight to the New Chitose Airport or even Asahikawa Airport for the trip of a lifetime. 

This guide will help you discover all the best spots in Hokkaido, such as the superb Hokkaido hot springs (outdoor onsen), where to find the freshest spring water, how to experience the natural beauty of the blue pond, and much more.

Revitalize your soul with fresh spring water directly from the mountain

Revitalize your soul with fresh spring water directly from the mountain 

Have you heard that fresh mountain water in Hokkaido is some of the best and purest spring water in the world? Well, you heard right. The area is known across Japan for its crystal clear mineral-rich spring water that comes straight from the mountains. Although there are several spring sources that provide cold and refreshing spring water year-round, some are better than others. However, any spring water you drink on Hokkaido is good for your health. At the following locations, you'll find both locals and travelers filling up bottles of fresh, clean water. Best of all, it's free for everyone to enjoy.

Here are some of the best places to revitalize your soul with fresh spring water directly from Mount Yōtei:

Fukidashi Park in Kyogoku is the most popular destination for Hokkaido fresh spring water. Not only is it the perfect spot to sample the best water you'll ever drink, but it is also a lovely place to enjoy the natural beauty of the region. Start at the stunning Japanese spring to taste the delicious water, and then take a stroll along the boardwalk. The walkway will take you around the pond and give you a great view of the waterfalls with their moss-covered stones and forest-like landscape. 

Another wonderful option is Wakimizu no Sato, Makkari Tofu Kobo, which is a tofu factory and spring water station situated between Niseko and Makkari. Here you can stop for a travel break to fill up your water bottles with flowing mountain water while also trying some of the freshest tofu you'll find in Japan. The factory produces both traditional and experimental tofu, which makes it worth a stop. Plus, you'll be able to fill up with some more pure mountain spring water along your journey. You can reach the Niseko region where you'll find both these destinations via car or train from New Chitose Airport. It is just under two hours drive by car or take the train and get off at Kutchan Station.

Relax at Hokkaido’s hidden hot spring resorts

Japan's wild northernmost island Hokkaido is home to some spectacular outdoor onsen. These hot springs are dotted across the island and located in some of the most tranquil natural settings. The island is full of volcanically active regions, which is why the entire island is bubbling with activity. Hokkaido onsen can be found in various settings, such as on the coastline is nestled in valleys or at the foot of mountains. There are also tons of different onsen types, including some with organic plant matter. All this makes Hokkaido a dream wellness destination.

These are some of the top hidden Hokkaido hot spring resorts that you need to visit:

Noboribetsu Onsen 

Noboribetsu Onsen 

Noboribetsu Onsen is one of Japan's best hot spring resorts simply because it has nine different varieties of thermal water for you to experience. The spa town of Noboribetsu offers a number of interesting places for you to visit. For the ultimate outdoor onsen experience, head to the hot spring pond Oyunuma or the sulfurous bubbling waters of Jigokudani (meaning "Hell Valley"). Both these Hokkaido hot springs are created by the volcanic activity of Mount Hiyori. Noboribetsu is a family-friendly destination with theme park attractions such as Marine Park Nixe and the Noboribetsu Datejidai Mura (historical village theme park). Best of all, Noboribetsu is only an hour's drive from New Chitose Airport via the highway, making it easily accessible.

Lake Toya Hot Onsen 

Lake Toya Hot Onsen 

Lake Toya Hot Spring (Toyako Onsen) is a famous hot spring village with onsen inns dotted along the banks of Lake Toya. These open-air baths are full of brownish-yellow hot spring water that is renowned for its healing properties. Since its opening in 1917, Toyako Onsen has reportedly helped relieve numerous ailments such as neuralgia and arthritic pain. The water also works wonderfully as a skincare treatment. You can visit this outdoor onsen for the day or stay overnight for the full experience. Lake Toya Hot Onsen puts on a great show with a full fireworks display over the water every night from spring to fall. However, there are other Lake Toya things to do in winter as well. For example, a sightseeing cruise to view the four islands in the center of the lake that were created by lava after a volcanic eruption. Getting from New Chitose Airport to Lake Toya is quite easy and only a 90-minute drive by car.

Jozankei Hot Springs

Jozankei Hot Springs

Jozankei Hot Springs is located in Minami-Ku, Sapporo, and is just over an hour's drive from New Chitose Airport. This unique destination is situated within the stunning Shikotsu-Toya National Park. The town is nestled in a lush valley between the high cliffs of the Toyohira River. Since it is so close to the main city of Sapporo, this onsen town is more developed than other onsen towns on Hokkaido. The hot spring waters were discovered in 1866, and Jozankei has been a wellness destination ever since. You'll find plenty of ryokan throughout the town where you can visit the baths during the day for a fee. There are also tons of foot baths found all around town that you may use for free. Jozankei is also a famous destination to see the gorgeous fall colors and the unique cave temple - Iwato Kannondo, which features 33 statues of the Buddhist deity Kannon.

Experience the surreal beauty of nature at Shirogane Blue Pond and Shirogane Falls

Experience the surreal beauty of nature at Shirogane Blue Pond and Shirogane Falls

In the past, the area of Biei Hokkaido was mostly known for its splendid lavender fields that bloomed during the summer months. However, a recent development has created a unique new destination that travelers are flocking to ever since Apple added an image of it to their wallpaper collection in 2012. The Shirogane Blue Pond is known for its unreal bright blue water. This strange-looking pond was artificially created due to a dam being built at the Biei River to stop volcanic mud from Mount Tiokachi from reaching the nearby town. Although several ponds were created, this is the only one with this unique blue color. 

The Blue Pond gets its water from Shirogane Falls, where the turquoise blue water mixes with aluminum in the cliffs resulting in that vivid blue hue. The color is enhanced by the white rocks at the bottom of the pond that have been bleached by sulfur. The enchanting yet eerie appearance of the Blue Pond is increased by the presence of dead trees. You can visit at any time of the year as the Shirogane Blue Pond showcases a different shade of blue during each season. 

The drive from New Chitose Airport to Shirogane Blue Pond is just over two hours. Alternatively, take the bus from Asahikawa Station to Shirogane Aoiike Iriguchi which will take just over five hours. 

Make Your Wellness Dreams Come True

Now that you know all there is to experience on Japan's wellness island of Hokkaido, you'll be eager to book your trip. Whether you want to drink the fresh mineral-rich spring water straight from the mountains or benefit from the healing properties of the Hokkaido hot springs or simply want to see the mystical Blue Pond with your own eyes, Hokkaido is a destination unlike any other. Let us help you turn Hokkaido wellness experience dream into reality. 

Getting There